It is said that the journey is as important as the destination. This was never more true than in the early Twentieth Century when the lucky few could take long train journeys across Europe in the utmost luxury, spending days and nights in veritable jewel-boxes of sleeper and dining carriages. For the AW23 collection, Dea Kudibal evokes the glamour of this heady era whilst giving the style a twist of modernity that ensures it appeals to today’s woman.
Using a rich colour palette of kingfisher blue, royal purple and bottle green set against silver grey and old rose, the silhouette is long and lean with a languid air of decadence. A mix of masculine and feminine appears where boxy tailoring is thrown over signature silk dresses and touches of chinoiserie can be seen in kimono shapes and oriental florals. Prints, as always, are central to the Dea Kudibal world. Hand-painted florals capture the faded glamour of palazzo frescos whilst wallpaper-inspired prints with a 30s appeal are either tonal or multicoloured and vibrant. Graphic repeats give a nod to furnishing fabrics and an abstract Bauhaus print hints to the creativity of the world of art.
Outerwear and tailoring make a strong impression this season. High-waisted wide-leg trousers with matching boxy jackets in bold stripes or dark checks have a masculine but relaxed air and a strong shouldered blazer with metal buttons — maybe a playful reference to the train conductor? — makes a bold impact. Stepping out onto the station platform, oversized coats in chalk-striped wool or wrap versions in pale pink are as glamorous as they are warm. Down puffas are unexpectedly rendered in brightly coloured jaguar prints and a long sleeveless coat in shocking pink looks edgy and cool worn over knits. A cropped but very wide mohair blend jumper has a single embroidered rose on the front to add a romantic touch to cozy dressing. Elsewhere a textured sweater has huge flounces on the shoulders to add a sense of drama.
Back on the train, silky dresses are perfect for cocktails and dinner. High necks and empire-line seams highlighted with piping have a slightly bohemian air whilst a fitted shape with a tear-drop slit down the back reveals an unexpected glimpse of skin. For a more youthful attitude, a short dress in structured floral cloqué jacquard is the perfect little black dress, especially when teamed with boots. And, as the train rattles on through the night, settle down for a last martini in a vivid print silk kimono - after all, some journeys you don’t want to end.